Getting Help for a Heroin Addiction
In the period from 2000-2016, heroin accounted for 15,446 overdose deaths in the United States—that’s nearly a quarter of all drug overdose deaths in that time. Known worldwide as one of the most powerful and dangerous street drugs in modern times, heroin creates an intense physical dependency and wreaks havoc on the body when it is withheld. Unfortunately, these agonizing withdrawal symptoms leave addicted individuals to choose between feeling sick and continuing to give up their lives to the drug.
The choice between withdrawal and continued addiction may sound easy, but for a person who is physiologically dependent on heroin, the need for the substance is far too great to overcome by willpower alone. It’s also incredibly dangerous to go “cold turkey” when detoxing from heroin. Because of heroin’s intense impact on the body and its potential for life-threatening withdrawal symptoms, those looking to break their addiction safely need to seek professional heroin addiction treatment.
Rehab and Treatment Options for Heroin Addiction
Fortunately, for those with an addiction to heroin, there are several kinds of heroin addiction treatment options available. Generally, addiction rehabilitation programs are offered in three standard formats: residential (on-site), intensive outpatient, or outpatient.
- Residential treatment
The most intense type of treatment for heroin addiction, residential programs require clients to live on-site at the facility for a certain period of time. During this time, clients go through carefully monitored heroin addiction detox and, typically, have limited contact with outside friends or family. As a person progresses through residential treatment, these rules may change, allowing them to make some phone calls or have scheduled visits with family.At Yellowstone Recovery, our residential treatment is split into two parts: primary and extended care. During primary care, clients begin working in a 12-step program with nightly meetings and full staff supervision. Day treatment involves a combination of group and individual therapy sessions, providing a sense of community and peer support among clients at the same stage of recovery. After 30 days, individuals transition into extended care.Extended care residential treatment is the time during which clients show that they can use what they’ve learned to support their own recovery and ongoing sobriety. During this phase of treatment, clients focus on finding employment and becoming self-sufficient so that they can function well after they leave the facility. Clients in extended care are also given additional visiting and travel privileges, including off-site and overnight visits.
- Intensive outpatient treatment
For those who do not need to undergo a detox period (or those who have already gone through detox elsewhere), intensive outpatient or “IOP” treatment is designed to provide all the intensive recovery resources of residential care, with significantly more flexibility. The commitment required for this type of treatment falls between residential and outpatient treatment.Yellowstone Recovery’s IOP program asks clients to attend one individual therapy session every other week and four group therapy sessions each week. Unlike residential treatment, clients are allowed to live off-site. If living with family is likely to create temptation and other difficulties, clients can opt for a safe, substance-free sober living facility.
- Outpatient treatment
Unlike intensive outpatient treatment, which can be entered by anyone who does not require a detox period, standard outpatient treatment is typically used only as an aftercare program for clients who have already completed a full residential treatment program. This provides further support and therapy in case clients feel they need additional treatment while they make steps toward re-entering society. For many individuals recovering from an intense heroin addiction, this kind of additional support is the key to their success.At Yellowstone Recovery, outpatient clients are asked to attend three group therapy sessions per week and one individual therapy session every other week. Outpatient clients are also expected to continue to work their 12-step program with a sponsor. As with IOP, clients have the option to live with family or in a sober living facility.
Deciding Which Treatment Is Best
Each of the above rehabilitation program types is designed to provide all of the medical and therapeutic work needed to conquer addiction and maintain sobriety for life. However, each type of program employs slightly different methods to meet the needs of a particular set of clients.
Those who are heavily physically addicted are usually best served by a residential program that provides safe detox, close monitoring, and very thorough care. Those who don’t need detox but are struggling to stay on the sober path may be better served by an intensive outpatient program. The third type, the outpatient program, is usually reserved for those who are transitioning from residential treatment.
If you’re still not sure which kind of treatment is best for you or your loved one, the professionals at Yellowstone Recovery can help you make the best choice for your needs.
How Medication Can Help with Heroin Addiction
While addiction recovery is often portrayed in films and on TV as a process of agonizing withdrawals, that isn’t the case in a professional drug treatment center. To ease discomfort and reduce the risk of serious harm, drug treatment clients may be given certain medications during detox. In the case of heroin treatment, a medication known as methadone is most often used to treat pain, prevent cravings, and soothe other symptoms. The dosage is reduced over time, allowing clients to wean slowly off of heroin until they no longer need either drug.
The Process of Heroin Rehab
Regardless of the type of treatment program a person chooses, the process of heroin addiction rehabilitation typically follows the same overall path from physical detoxification through counseling and post-release care. For example, here’s what you can expect from heroin treatment at Yellowstone Recovery:
- Heroin detox
At the beginning of the journey, many clients are still dealing with the physical cravings and symptoms of heroin addiction. Before the rest of the recovery work begins, clients undergo a medically monitored detox period to keep them safe and healthy while the last of the addictive chemicals are naturally expelled from the body. As mentioned earlier, heroin detox may be assisted by medication to prevent dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
- Blackout period
At the beginning of residential treatment, clients typically have a blackout period that prohibits contact with anyone outside of the treatment facility. This temporary blackout is designed with clients’ best interests in mind, as it can protect them from temptation, social pressure, and/or enabling loved ones.
- Group and individual therapy work
The most substantial part of the rehab process is the time spent working through a 12-step program and attending both group and individual counseling sessions. During this portion of treatment, clients talk with peers and addiction counseling professionals to understand their addiction, heal old wounds, and learn healthy coping strategies for the future.
- Sober living (if desired)
Some individuals may choose to follow up their treatment program by moving into a sober living facility. Sober living can be especially helpful for those who are concerned about possible temptations or lack of support. By living in a safe place with peers who understand the challenges of addiction recovery, clients can get the extra support they need while they get back to living their lives.
Whether or not a person chooses to go to a sober living facility after completion of his or her treatment program, we provide convenient aftercare resources to all of our clients. As the client transitions back into “normal life” after rehab, he or she can still receive counseling and be connected with different groups to support his or her recovery.
Choosing the Right Heroin Rehab Facility
When you’re facing the challenges of overcoming a heroin addiction, you need the best team to help you reach your goal. That’s why choosing the right team for your needs is the most important aspect of drug rehab. It may be tempting to select the nearest facility to your hometown or settle for whatever is cheapest, but it’s important that you consider all aspects of various heroin addiction treatment programs and choose the one that can best support your recovery.
When choosing a heroin addiction rehabilitation facility, look for the following:
- Experienced, educated staff
- Compassionate, respectful attitude toward addiction
- On-hand medical professionals
- Relaxing atmosphere conducive to healing
- Safe, secure premises
- Structured therapeutic schedule
- Employment assistance resources
- Post-treatment support
- History of patient success
- Affordable pricing and flexible payment plans
Are You or a Loved One Addicted to Heroin? We’re Here to Help
At Yellowstone Recovery in southern California, we offer a variety of professional heroin addiction rehabilitation options to people from all walks of life. Our residential, outpatient, and intensive outpatient treatment programs are designed to help addicted individuals safely detox from heroin and develop the skills they need to regain control of their lives. We’ve built a strong history of success over the last two decades and have helped more than 5,000 clients since 1997.
With compassionate care from expert staff and top-quality on-site amenities, we provide the resources and support necessary to help each and every client achieve long-term success. We also offer flexible financing options, from PPO insurance plans to individually-customized payment plans. Our goal is to get you the help you need—we’ll work with you to make it happen.
If you have or a loved one has been struggling with the repercussions of heroin use, it’s time to get the help you deserve. Call Yellowstone Recovery today at 888-418-4188 to get started on your journey back to health and sobriety.
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